RALEIGH, NC -- We don’t all buy the same things, go to the same businesses, ride the same roads.

But it seems the one thing that unites all of us is money. We spend it, save it. And there's always someone else who wants to take it from you.

“Do not pay for things in advance. If someone says, ‘Hey, you won a lottery. And here's your chance but you have to pay $4,000 to pay the taxes in advance’, that's against the law in NC, “ warns North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

The NC AG outlined a few more sure-fire ways to spot a scam:

Pre-paid Debit Cards & Gift Cards. This is one of the biggest giveaways. Anytime anyone asks you to buy a pre-paid debit card or gift card to pay for anything! Businesses and government agencies don't accept those as payments....EVER!

Unsolicited Calls. When you get a call or text or email that claims to give you a better deal on a service or product, that’s fishy. Always look up the number to the business yourself and call to confirm the offer.

The IRS Call. That threatening phone call from the IRS---it's never real.

“I'm so and so from IRS and we will send agents to arrest you, “ explains Stein, “The IRS doesn't do business that way. These are people trying to steal your money. If you're worried, you hang up the phone and you call their toll free number yourself.”